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The Institute of Internal Auditors North AmericaBreadcrumb SeparatorCertificationBreadcrumb SeparatorExam Security

Exam Security

Report a security breachAware of an IIA exam security breach? Please visit www.theiia.org/examtipline to report.

The IIA, the Professional Certifications Board, and Pearson VUE take exam security seriously because the value of your certification depends on it. That’s why IIA Global created an Exam Security Team to enhance processes and procedures and increase investigative measures to protect The IIA’s exam intellectual property (IP).

Unauthorized possession, reproduction, publication, or disclosure of any examination materials, including storing or disclosing examination questions to any person or entity by any means before, during, or after the examination, is prohibited by copyright laws and can result in candidate disqualification or other appropriate censure.

To help provide guidance as to what is acceptable (and not acceptable) behavior, we have developed a chart with situations exam candidates may be confronted with and note the appropriate action.

Exam Security FAQs

Situation Appropriate Action
My friend asks me how the test went. Can I talk with her/him about it? Discussions regarding how you felt about the exam experience is fine as long as exam content is not discussed. Specific exam questions should never be discussed.
An acquaintance told me the URL where there is an exposed exam for me to study from. Should I take him up on his offer? Studying from recalled test content is improper and can lead to severe penalties. If you are aware that an exam has been exposed, do not purchase such materials. Report the incident using The IIA's confidential exam security tip line or contact The IIA’s Director of Exam Security and Forensics, Greg Choyke, at Greg.Choyke@theiia.org.
I want to bring water and food into the exam room. May I? Water will be available outside of the testing room when you take a break from testing. (Please note that there are no planned breaks, and the clock continues to run during any such time.) If you need special accommodation for food, water, or other accommodations (supported by a doctor’s note), upon submitting your exam registration and prior to scheduling your exam with Pearson VUE, please contact Gabriel Marquez in The IIA’s Global Certifications Department at +1-407-937-1277 or Gabriel.Marquez@theiia.org. Early notice is important, as some modifications may take 30 days or more to implement.
Can I use my phone in the test center just to look at the time? No. Watches and phones are NOT permitted in the testing room. There will be a clock on your computer screen that displays the amount of time remaining for your exam.
What if I need to access my personal belongings? Access to personal belongings is not permitted with the exception of medication and food as approved by the test administrator.

Candidate Conduct at Pearson VUE Testing Centers

The Pearson VUE staff will guide you through the steps developed by The IIA, many of which are designed to ensure your security and the security of the exam itself.

Violations of the Pearson VUE testing site rules include, but are not limited to:

  • Being disruptive.
  • Having any item not specifically permitted in the testing room, such as a phone or watch.
  • Acting suspiciously.
  • Removing test items from the center.
  • Providing false information when applying for the certification program.

Test center employees have been trained to watch for unusual behavior and incidents during exams, and real-time monitoring is backed up by audio and videotaping of the exam sessions.

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Checking in at the Pearson VUE Testing Center

Upon arrival at the Pearson VUE testing center, you will be required to present acceptable photo identification. Acceptable photo identification must meet the following requirements:

  • Contains your name exactly as you provided it during the exam registration process (as it appears on your Pearson VUE exam appointment confirmation letter).
  • Has a permanently affixed photo of your face.
  • Is current; expired IDs will not be accepted.
  • Is an original document; photocopies will be accepted.

Acceptable forms of ID are:

  • Government-issued driver’s license
  • Passport.
  • Military ID
  • Alien Registration Card (green card, permanent resident, visa)
  • Government-issued local language ID (plastic card with photo and signature, accepted only if issued from the country the candidate is testing in)

Unacceptable forms of ID include:

  • Employee ID or work badge
  • University/college ID
  • Insurance card

Your identity will also be verified through comparison of your signature to the signature on your ID (if any). If you do not present an acceptable ID at the time you are scheduled to take your exam, you will not be allowed to take your exam, you will be considered a no-show even though you appeared at the exam site, and you will forfeit the exam registration fee.

Be sure to keep your ID with you at all times during the exam after the administrator checks you in. If you leave the testing room for any reason, you will be required to show your ID to be readmitted.

The following is a high-level overview of what to expect when you arrive at your testing center:

  • Once your identification has been approved, the test center administrator will show you where to store your personal items (purses, wallets, watches, jewelry, cell phone, etc.). Space is limited, so do not bring anything to the testing center that it is not absolutely necessary. (Your exam confirmation email from Pearson VUE will outline what can and cannot be brought to the site.) No food or drink is allowed in the testing room.
  • The administrator will provide you with a copy of the candidate rules agreement. You must accept the terms of this agreement in order to take an exam at a Pearson VUE testing center.
  • You will be offered certain tools to use during your exam:  an erasable note board and pen (on which you can take notes during the exam) and an on-screen calculator. You must return the note board and pen to the administrator before leaving the test center. You can request a hand-held calculator, which the testing center will provide if one is available; you cannot bring your own personal calculator or similar device into the testing room.
  • You will be required to sign the test center log before being admitted to the test.

Once the check-in procedures are taken care of, the exam proctor will escort you to the workstation, where you must remain for the duration of the exam unless you are authorized to leave the room. There are no scheduled breaks during the exam. Candidates are allowed to take a break, if necessary, but the time taken for breaks counts toward the overall time allotment for the exam. If you leave the testing room for any reason, you will be required to sign the test center log and show acceptable ID upon exiting and reentering. You may also be required to provide a fingerprint or palm vein image.

Once you have been seated at your testing station, the administrator will log you in to your exam. You will be asked to confirm that the exam shown on the screen is the exam you are scheduled to take. When confirmed, you will begin the testing session. The session begins with a welcome screen and the nondisclosure/confidentiality agreement (NDA). If you do not accept the exam NDA, the exam will be terminated, the registration will be voided, and you will forfeit your exam registration fee.

What Happens if Security is Violated?

Incidents of candidate misconduct will be referred to The IIA’s Global Ethics Committee for action and are considered a serious offense. Actions by The IIA’s Global Ethics Committee may include invalidation of exam results, disqualification from participation in all IIA certification programs (current and future), and publication of the results of the candidate’s due process in an IIA publication.

If evidence of misconduct is discovered after a candidate has been awarded an IIA certification, the certification and related social badge may be revoked. The IIA may also take other actions to the extent permitted by law. An appeals process is available.

If You See Something, Say Something

It’s everyone’s job to protect what matters, and the value of your certification or qualification matters. The IIA’s exam security tip line allows candidates to confidentially provide information should you notice unusual behavior at an exam site related to IIA exam IP or see an advertisement for the sale of exam questions and answers.

Where to Direct Questions or Concerns

If you have questions, comments, or concerns regarding exam security, misconduct, or the testing center, contact The IIA's confidential exam security tip line.